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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,983

    Default How to turn down a request for a grooming visit?

    Occasionally someone emails me, and I get the feeling that I really do not want to visit their home. I haven't figured out a kind, effective way to turn down requests.
    The other day someone emailed me about claw trims. I am one of only 3 people in Manhattan who will visit a home for a cat claw trim. There might even be only two people. She told me about her cat, said she wants a claw trim, asked about the price, if I visit her area, and then asked how it all works. As all of that info is provided on my site, I thanked her for the email and directed her to the site.
    She emailed me saying that she didn't see the info on my site, and that this is no way to treat a prospective client. Right away, I felt that I wouldn't feel comfortable visiting her. My instincts have been right often enough that I do trust them.
    I emailed her an apology for being rude, and said that since we got off to a bad start due to my response, I would not like to visit. I wished her a good day. It was a sincere email, as I do feel I could have done better.
    She emailed back "You're willing to pass up a client due to a miscommunication. Wow."
    I emailed her thanking her for her interest and her honesty, and left it at that, as she did have a point. I dislike being trapped in a home with an unpleasant client so much that I do pass up some visits that might turn out to be okay.
    Other ways to handle the situation? What has worked for you?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    10,118

    Default

    I think you handled it well. I too follow my "gut" feeling about clients since I am HB. I usually tell them I don't think we would be a good fit, refer them to someone (unless I really have a bad feeling about them), and thank them for their inquiry.
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,983

    Default

    Thanks Cyn. Instincts can be wrong, but a visit to the wrong person's home, or having someone wrong come to your home, has a big downside, even if they're only wrong in the sense that they are mean-tempered or confused.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles basin
    Posts
    66

    Default

    One of the nicest ways to turn down business is to offer help with a referral. If you don't feel comfortable with her, that is your call. I support you. But to end with saying I can offer a referral (if you can) is really pleasant and doesn't load them up to get even more upset.

  5. #5

    Default

    You can tell them it sound like they might be better with a vet. ( mobile vet referral) But if they sound like a problem ( and she totally did) I wouldn't refer them to another groomer. ALWAYS go with your gut.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,459

    Default

    I prefer the "Sorry, I've moved to Nepal and can't do your pet"...

    I think you handled it just fine. I usually up my price to a very happy point and they either stay with me or find someplace else. I don't know why she got her panties in a ruffle in the first place when you directed her back to her website. Nothing on your website or in your life says you have to go to her house anyway. You are the one that is putting yourself in harm's way by going to a customer's home. That's my honest take on home grooming anyway. You really need to have good spidey sense feelings!!
    Debbie
    There's always room for another rose in the garden.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC, originally Hamilton, NJ
    Posts
    895

    Default

    Eh, I think the initial response could have been handled with a bit more grace. I have several pre-written responses to my frequently asked questions (even though it is all on the website). It is right within my gmail (under Canned Responses), so it saves a lot of time without losing the 'warm lead.' Not everyone is as tech savvy, so I try to take into consideration that some clients need a bit more hand-holding while still maintaining my own boundaries.

    However, if you aren't interested in taking them on as a client - a way to do this might be to have a response saying you can add her to the wait list for that immediate area and provide her referral(s) in the mean time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,983

    Default

    Thank you. I can see there are various opinions.
    I have started answering questiins, even if it is on the site. I will try the suggestion of saving the text as a canned response.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,983

    Default

    One thing I noticed. I tried answering questions instead of just referring back to my site. Two inquiries. Both wound up asking for a discount. This is a major reason I do everything through voicemail, email and my site. I don't know why, but it seems like quoting prices in an email leads to efforts to negotiate price, whereas placing the prices on a site does not lead to negotiation efforts.
    So even though it is not a warm approach, which I do regret, for now I am going to continue to refer people to my site, until after the first visit when I am more than happy to answer questions.

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